Generational differences on social media and why they matter

Generational Differences on Social Media

All generations have finally adapted to social media, especially while people have been at home through the pandemic. Generational differences on social media are real, and their preferred platform seems to vary based on how that generation tends to interact in the real world. 

As a social media publisher, understanding each group’s mindset and interests makes it easier to get their attention. At True Anthem, we with with clients from various industries and an array of social media platforms. It has given us a deep well of knowledge when it comes to social media application across a wide range of markets and demographics. If you’re interested in exploring this with us, set up some time to chat. We’d love to help.

 In this article, we will look at Generation X, Y, and Z, and Baby Boomers and how each group uses social media as a part of their lives.   

Generation Z (born after 1995)

This generation has the most presence on social media and accounts for about 40% of US Consumers. Digital technology has always been a part of their lives, and this generation adapts to change the easiest. This generation also sets the trends that will eventually become mainstream. 

Over 95% of users from this generation have access to a smartphone and are quick to say that social media is an essential part of their daily lives. They are avid consumers who expect a personalized experience online. Additionally, they are the most likely to bring awareness to anything that intrigues them. 

Gen Z is more inclined to use YouTube, Instagram, Instagram stories, Snapchat, and TikTok to get information. Video is essential, and they prefer visuals over text. At a minimum, eye catching visuals and graphics are essential.

Generation Y, or Millennials (born between 1980-1995)

Millennials are an often misunderstood generation. They have been long perceived as the least dependable generation. However, they are now long past their college days and well into adulthood. This generation remembers the days before social media, but has adapted to it as a constant presence in their day-to-day lives. This generation uses social media to stay up to date with current events, find entertaining content, contact friends and family, and fill up their spare time.

Millennials are heavily influenced by social media, especially since they are in such a busy time in their lives. Social media remains the easiest way for them to stay connected to all things at once. Their choice is commonly Facebook, Facebook Stories, Twitter, and YouTube, but they are not afraid to try new things. They were quick to adopt platforms like Instagram and YouTube, and will easily dabble in newer platforms like TikTok.

Generation X (people born between 1965-1979)

The “latchkey” generation tends to be no-fuss when it comes to social media. A generation well established in adulthood and tends to remain loyal to what they have liked for a long time. This generation will likely remain predictable as far as what entertains them. Overall, they are a very dedicated group to brands that they like and trust.

Like millennials, social media has become an essential part of their daily lives, and they are known to use social media more habitually than any other generation. Many prefer to use social media for research and keeping up with friends. Also, they are more timid about sharing personal information than younger generations. 

Most Gen Xers rely heavily on their Facebook feed, YouTube, and LinkedIn. 

Baby Boomers (people born between 1946-1964)

“Boomers” — as the younger generations like to call them — are the oldest generation in the workforce today and the most reluctant to learn the ins and outs of social media. 

Boomers have grown accustomed to Facebook as their social media outlet of choice. Slightly more Boomers spend time on YouTube than Facebook, but this is likely for watching videos, not being social or sharing content. This generation adopted social media much later in their lives. As a result, they tend to not spend as much time online as younger generations. They are more disciplined about their time online.

Generational differences on social media inform your perspective

Knowing which audience to target with your content and which platforms they are likely to be present on is essential for any social publishing and content marketing plan. It would help if you kept It would help if you kept generational differences on social media in mind, remembering that we all adapted at different times for different reasons.

While Millennials are online more, their time online is not as controlled and as in-depth as Boomers. Some generations are scrolling their feeds quickly with their thumbs and looking for the next video or headline to entertain them. Other generations use their pointer finger to scroll more slowly and deliberately, only clicking on what seems credible or will improve their lives. 

The good news for social publishers is that social media isn’t going anywhere. It will remain a preferred source of information and entertainment for current generations and for generations to come. 

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